The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is in making structural simulation widely available to communities of makers, small businesses, and manufacturing enterprises, leading to dramatic improvements in performance, quality, manufacturability, and cost savings. If successful, the proposed research will result in a cloud-based simulation service, a disruptive technology holding the potential to transform the simulation industry by making structural simulation widely available to both novice and expert users, as a low cost fully automated service that requires no prepossessing or data conversion. Putting simulation technology into hands of makers and manufacturers is an important step towards further democratization of manufacturing and wider adoption of 3D printing.

This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will establish scientific, technological, and commercial feasibility of a fully automated and easy-to-use cloud-hosted structural simulation service to support tasks in advanced design and manufacturing. The service is intended to be used by a variety of users with widely varying levels of expertise, with particular focus on the additive manufacturing and the growing maker's movement. Specific research issues include: (1) problems and simulation use scenarios in support of additive manufacturing, including reverse engineering, manufacturability and intended structural performance; (2) system architecture, computational challenges, and prototype implementation of a cloud-based service for performing structural simulation of intermediate and final solid manufactured artifacts; (3) investigation of user interaction modes and scenarios that enable use of the structural simulation service by a wide range of users, from novice designers and makers to experienced design and manufacturing engineers.

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Intact Solutions
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